Assalaamualaikum and welcome to FemiNisa, the online magazine for Western Muslim women.
FemiNisa is a portmanteau of the words ‘feminine’ and ‘nisa’. The word Nisa is a reference to the Arabic word for women, one which is also the name of a chapter in the Quran, thus not only highlighting the importance of women in Islam, but that they have a role to play within the Muslim community. With the two words fused together, we have something that describes the average Western Muslim woman of today – one who asserts her femininity through her faith without being held to account by the social constructs of culture and society.
In the current atmosphere, Muslim women have almost no way of defining their feminine identity. It has become increasingly evident that our voices are being muffled by those who aren’t us, and therefore cannot understand what it means to be a Western Muslim woman. As a result, she is viewed through a paradigm of foreign qualities, which lead her to being labelled both ‘exotic’ and ‘oppressed’, both of which seem to be falsely associated with being feminine.
This is where FemiNisa comes into the picture, as it is committed to not only providing women an online platform to exchange their ideas, but set their own narrative of who they are and what they stand for within the context of Western society. FemiNisa believes that Western Muslim women need to speak for themselves about their struggles of worshipping God instead of having others speak for them, and encourage them to take their feminine identity into their own hands, and it is due to this that it has come into existence. We as Muslim women have much to contribute in a plethora of disciplines, including politics and current affairs, therefore the time has now come for us to take our identities and navigate the discourse about ourselves in relation to our faith towards the direction we’d like to take it in.
Bushra is the Editor and founding member of FemiNisa. She has a degree in Computer Science from King’s College London and has written for various Muslim blogs. Her previous career in IT means she has experienced the difficulties women have in what is a largely male-dominated workplace and led her to evaluate other problems British Muslim women may encounter in their day to day lives. You can learn more about FemiNisa from her interview on British Muslim TV below.
Sulekha is Associate Editor of FemiNisa. With a degree in History from LSE, her interests are focused on politics, misogyny and feminism and she has written previously on these topics for other British Muslim websites.
Yasmin Egala is a blogger and a Human Resources professional. Through her blog, she shares reflections of her journey of self-discovery and identity challenges as a ‘born’ Muslim.
Salma Mahomed is a City professional by day who wants to live in a world where numbers don’t matter and calories don’t count. Can be found making posh, pretty paper for fun-loving humans at Muslim By Design.
Blogger and creator of ChristalBlogs, Christal holds a Masters in International Commercial Law and currently works in Islamic Finance.